Time Out has a jet lag survival guide from health experts to help expats living in Dubai when they travel home and around the world
Pack the in-flight essentials Jet lag is cruel. It’s brutal on the body and the sleep cycle. Dribbling in the back of a taxi after you’ve landed, spiral-eyed, at 3am, is a given if you’re flying long haul this summer. However, if you plan smartly and pack your cabin baggage skilfully, you’ll cut down that misery by half. Fill your carry-on with two essentials: noise-cancelling headphones and a pair of undies. While the former will help you block out the in-flight white noise so you sleep deeper and wake up feeling more rested, the latter will further help you feel more fresh after you land. No immediate shower needed. (Well, not that immediate…)
Download the Entrain app Developed by researchers (legends) at the University of Michigan, the Entrain app simulates the body clock to compute optimal light exposure based on your behaviour at any time of day, while also syncing to the new time zone. Confused? Hear us out. Enter the destination you’re travelling to and select the type of light you’ll be mostly exposed to (low, bright, daylight or office light). The app will then suggest the type of light you need to expose yourself to for seven days prior to boarding a flight and then monitor your exposure and sleep. Treat this like a nagging mum who will keep telling you when to sleep and under what light conditions. Slap on a sheet mask Summer holidays are a time to relax, so start the pamper session from the plane. Buy Dr Jart+ Reset Your Hydration sheet mask from Sephora (Dhs25) and slap it on after meals have been served and the lights have been dimmed for minimal weird looks. Leave it on for 30 minutes and scare all the kids in economy with your newly intensively moisturised skin glowing in the dark.
East vs West travels Dr Shadi Sharifi from Saudi German Hospital, who specialises in sleep disorders, recommends adjusting sleeping patterns depending on where you’re travelling. “If going east, go to bed two to three hours earlier than usual. If you’re going west, do the exact opposite and take longer naps on the plane,” she says.
If you’re having trouble getting back into a routine even after 48 to 72 hours of reaching your destination, consult Dr Shadi Sharifi at the Sleep Medicine Center, Saudi German Hospital, Hessa Street, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 389 000004 389 0000).